Ultimate space simulation software

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A Note About Eventual Mac Compatibility

16 Aug 2018 11:19

katietheebug wrote:
Source of the post I don't mean to be rude or anything, but they're right, you guys are ignoring a huge target audience and source of income by not putting the development of an OSX version a little higher on your priorities list.

Ok, let's get into the numbers so we can settle this definitively.

First we'll look at revenue potential.

Current OS market share on desktops and laptops:

Windows - 88.43%
Mac - 9.11%

So the ratio of Windows users to Mac users is about 9.7:1. Even if we assume that revenue per person could be 3x higher for Mac users than Windows users (which I think is unlikely), that still means that revenue from Windows sales would be at least 3.23x greater than revenue from Mac sales.

Now we'll look at development cost.

Amount of additional time required for each OS version:

Windows - none
Mac - Probably 6 months of dedicated work (just a wild guess as SE is a very complex project and I'm not a programmer)

So probably 1000 hours of dedicated work, which if we assume some fair value for labor cost (like $10/hour) results in a $10,000 expense in labor alone, not to mention 6 months of development delay. Keep in mind, this is me making a guess, and I could be wrong in either direction, so potentially the delay could be even longer and more costly.

Due to the above, it makes little sense to prioritize cross-platform support right now. However, when the company is grown and additional developers are hired, SE can then be ported to Mac and Linux with much less impact on development schedule. The most sensible thing is to wait.

I know you're frustrated about the lack of cross-platform support, and I sympathize - I too want SE to be available to as many people as possible. But it doesn't make sense to prioritize that under the current circumstances. I hope you understand.

katietheebug wrote:
Source of the post As far as I can tell, the most major updates to the game are texture updates these days.

That's not true at all. Read all the development blogs posted since was released, huge changes have been made which have nothing at all to do with textures.
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A Note About Eventual Mac Compatibility

16 Aug 2018 13:46

I updated the OP to reflect the graphics hardware available in the current Mac lineup.
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A Note About Eventual Mac Compatibility

08 Jun 2019 06:26

Hi, Space Engine would have a huge boost if portet to the mac.
-> Both in recognition as well revenue !

Just to clear up. I am one of the Mac users that would, like many others, love Space Engine to com to the Mac.
- By now most resent Macs do meet the "Minimum requirement" fine. So I guess that the reason for not start porting, is mainly economics.
- HarbingerDawn made an calculation of "manpower" & costs - vs. - "revenue potential" - Sorry but the premise for the assumptions are wrong. - Let me explain:

I have been in both product development, marketing and sales, for services as well as physical goods for + 20 years. So I can easily see where the thinking goes wrong.

What is missing in the equation is marketing. Plus there is a basic wrong assumption also. Lets start with the latest:
- A. People on windows platforms who have "bought" / downloaded & donated to Space Engine, whit in the last couple of years mostly, do not donate anything "worthy" (> US $ 100,-) So getting funded by established users, is slow. Most especially on Windows platforms, do feel that they have done their part, if they ex. donated 50,- when downloaded ex. in 2017. And therefore are ok to download any new updates/ versions. Thats how we humans work.
- B. By now I guesstimate that most - people who are interested in Space Engine, and willing to donate "anything interesting" have come onboard. And most of their friends and their friends who learn about Space Engine, also are onboard. Either as "volunteer" (not paying) and who have come to a halt of using Space Engine, or do not "active" feel that its their turn to donate, getting the latest version.
So revenue is slow.
Either Space Engine needs another revenue model, (not purely donations) It could still be donations, but also buy a Cap or T-shirt (using a print on demand & drop-shipping service) so if the cap costs ex. $20,- the  it costs $60,- with Space Engine's logo on, and T-Shirt $20,- / $ 80,- with Graphics & logo on. - This will not thinkler with "only developed on donations" mentality, if this is the reason why, there is not a diffraction between all old version free, get the "newest build for $50,-" -ish.
- Then there is marketing. Yes either you do include some kind of budget, could be pennys on the dollar for some kind of viral FB "tell a friend" / tweet etc. Eventually coupled with a coupon for win a "something" (ex. signed Space Engine Cap/T-shirt etc.) - I'll bet you that just spending ex. $ 100,- like this will reach much further quantumdouble any kind of revenue. Whit out doing any marketing. You really cant talk about Windows reach vs Mach, based on how vast the one platform is or the other. It is meaning less.

Now regarding spending all income on updating Windows versions, instead of creating a Mac version. Du to "reach". This is also an misunderstanding. The right analogi would be. If you are on an isolated island selling ice-cream to people coming by once in a while, but where no one of the vast population know who you are, or are misses you or your ice-creams, as they do not know of you. Then it doesn’t make any scene to think about if you should make your ice-cream vanilla (which say, all kids and older people like best, vs. Chocolate that only people aged ex. 30-50 like. where the first group counts for 7/10 and the lasts for 3/10 people). 

Of the reasons, unless you start spending some kind of money on marketing, the bigger "marked" is only pie in the sky, as you will actually never reach it in a scale that in any scene are influenced by its numbers. Plus this market is mad up by people already consuming not just ice-cream but has a lot of other options like burgers candy etc. (other games) and also are already paying via a lock in to some kind of gaming platform subscription, so not really in the market for a new extra (cost). So given the market is bigger, the population either have spend ex. 50,- in donation whit in the last 3 years, and dont feel its their time yet. Or the are just not into this kind of product.

The last actually smaller portion (of the whole windows population) who are on the windows platform who are 1. into this kind of product and 2. Have heard of Space Engine and 3. are willling to donate anything significant ex. > $ 50,-     -> I bet you is much less than people on Macs, who 1. have heard of Space Engine and really want it, and are 2. willing to donate ex. > $150,- to get it. (even people not your core audience, simply due to people using Apple products are willing to pay premium prices)

-> Here is a fast thought: Perhaps if there are just 1000 like me that do not like having to go out and buy a windows machine (due to being fine doing everything else on our macs, thank you) so having to invest in an extra machine + servicing it, antivirus etc. simply to be able to run A Space Engine, would prefer to put the money into your pocket instead.

Announcing a coming to Mac would get you free press I'll bet in the neighbourhood of perhaps > $100K due to the community would make a Hughe viral wave, I'll know I would help. So this alone would A. get you free marketing + lets say $ 150,- x 1000 = $150.000,-  -> This you will not get by spending all your time and money (in you pocket at this tine) on working 24/7 on the next Windows edition. Hee I bet you would at maximum get 1 of 10 to donate $ 20-50,-.

I'll even bet you that If you started now by:
A. set up specific a donate for "creating a Mac version", which I and others would make go viral, with a counter on so when we reach ex.
$ 10.000,- You start allocate ressources and development.
B. You would be on stage at next Apple Developer conference, as your supreme product is just perfect for a mainstage demo.
-Now wouldn’t that be something - for us all! ?

If you by any chance would like to do a bit more talking, I would be glad to help out.

Kind regards
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A Note About Eventual Mac Compatibility

14 Jun 2019 09:56

I'm still using the late 2013 MacBook Pro I mentioned in post #2. These are the full specs:
  • Core i7-4850HQ, 2.30 GHz
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 750M, 2 GB VRAM
  • 2880 x 1800 display, reduced to 1440 x 900
  • Windows 8.1 with BootCamp

I can run Space Engine 0.990 marginally well using custom graphics settings:
  • Vertical synchronization off
  • Landscape LOD -1, loading speed 1
  • FXAA antialiasing on
  • Landscape max resolution 720p
  • Warp/reflection quality low, black hole quality high, aurora quality high, planet shine low
  • Anisotropy level 4
  • Detail textures and compress textures on, 3D stones off

In addition to that, I've manually edited the following settings in main-user.cfg:
VideoMemoryStrategy     2
VideoMemorySize         2048
VideoMemoryReserved     50
RAMSizeMax              12288
CacheSizeLandNode       0
CacheSizeNebModelsVRAM  20

Before I doubled the default value of 10 for CacheSizeNebModelsVRAM, looking around inside nebulae would cause SE to crash frequently.

EDIT: I spoke too soon; I'm still getting crashes when looking around inside complex raymarched nebulae. Lowering the nebula resolution when moving to 0.25 doesn't help.

EDIT 2: Finally got nebula performance I'm able to accept. I increased CacheSizeNebModelsVRAM to 30, lowered volumetric objects resolution while moving to 0.15, and while stationary to 0.5.

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